Have you ever gotten a message similar to this?
“Marketing and Social Media Gurus” likes “Berticelli’s and Sons Venison Sausage Makers of Cincinatti” and suggests you like it too.
I can’t be the only one who is sooooo sick of getting requests to “LIKE” this and that. My friends in marketing all are of the opinion that I need to “LIKE” all of their clients and help them to build fan bases. I must get at least 6 requests daily to become a fan, oh I mean to say “like” something. OK, maybe I don’t like “Berticelli’s and Sons Venison Sausage Makers of Cincinatti”, maybe I don’t even like Bambi! Enough already, Facebook Business Pages have become so needy of fans, they have become spammers in search of that magic number of manufactured fans that will drive sales through the roof.
Now, don’t get me wrong, real brand affinity does exist – fan of Jaguar? I am there! How about that new concept C-X75, amazing. But back to the mundane, normal business entities that have been sold the bill of goods that “you need a Facebook Business Page”. Sorry, but I do not want to be a fan of my dentist, or my electrician or even my dog-sitter. I would be glad to be their “friend” on Facebook, because they are my friend sort of. This whole system of creating business pages for brands that just don’t attract fans is nonsensical and totally a waste of time.
This brings me to the real beef. Why can’t the CEO of a company, the front-man, the rock star of the company use a Facebook Profile Page to promote their business, and moreover why can’t the little guys – the mom ‘n pop’s, the sole proprietor’s and the entrepreneurs simply use their face as the face of their business. Truth is, they do. In my little informal survey of local small businesses, almost 90% of them use a Profile Page to represent their business. They ARE their business, why not?
Many of the old “Become a Fan” pages had built in apps which promised to deliver a carrot in return for simply pushing that button. Then we got ourselves hooked up with them and were usually disappointed. If you have a cool restaurant with great food and raving fans, perfect – do a Business Page, but if you are a great Graphic Designer that deals personally with each customer – why not use a Profile Page? I know, I know – it is against the rules. But have any of you heard of massive banning of small businesses that use Profile Pages? I love the personal nature of the whole Profile Page, adding someone to your base by “Add as Friend” seems a whole lot less presumptive than shooting out requests to “Like” me. Sounds desperate, and even sounds worse when you have to hire your marketing company to do it for you. If you attract fans organically, great – Business Pages are for you, if you need to make friends in business – you may need to break the rules.
Here is what Facebook has to say on this officially:
My hope is that somewhere, somebody is realizing that everyone is breaking the rules for good reasons. Business IS about making friends, so why shouldn’t we be able to invite friends to learn about us (and our business.) It is a fine line I suppose, but for me – I AM my business.
Zuck, are you listening?